The art of surfing was first time recorded by Joseph Banks aboard HMS Endeavour during the first voyage of James Cook, during the ship's stay in Tahiti back in 1767. Surfing was a central part of ancient Polynesian culture. In Tahiti and Samoa surfing was a popular pastime that was often used as part of warriors training. In Hawai'i Surfing became more of a spiritual pastime and became ingrained into the very fabric of Hawaii'an religion and culture. Edward Treager also confirmed Samoan terminology for surfing and surfboards in Samoa. Oral tradition confirms that surfing was also practiced in Tonga.
Until Waikiki became a tourist destination that surfing began a resurgence in popularity. In 1908 Alexander Hume Ford founded the Outrigger Canoe and Surfing Club the first modern organization developed to promote surfing broadly. Local Hawaiians started their own club in 1911 called Hui Nalu, meaning "Club of the Waves". But the first surf icons who gained widespread recognition, George Freeth and Duke Kahanamoku, became famous for practicing their traditional sport and helped spread it from Waikiki to around the world. George Freeth is often credited as being the "Father of Modern Surfing". He is thought to have been the first modern surfer. Duke Kahanamoku, spread surfing to both the U.S. and Australia.
Surfing's development and culture was centered primarily in three locations: Hawaii, Australia, and California. In 1926 the first waves ridden in Europe were filmed in Leca da Palmeira, Portugal. In 1959 the release of the film Gidget, based on the life of surfer Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman, boosted the sport's popularity immensely, moving surfing from an underground culture into a national fad. In 1961 the United States Surfing Association (USSA) was founded, arguably the first proto-professional surfing contest organization, and in 1964 the International Surfing Federation (ISF) was founded. In 1975, professional contests started. That year Margo Oberg became the first female professional surfer. In 2016 IOC votes unanimously for the inclusion of surfing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Bodyboarding originates from an ancient form of riding waves (surfing) on one’s belly. Bodyboarding is a fairly new sport compared to some others. It was invented by a man called Tom Morey in 1971. He decided to make a board that you can ride waves with but do it lying down in a prone position. He founded Morey Boogie, the most famous bodyboard company of all time, in 1973, and in 1976 the first Morey Boogie contest was held in Carlsbad, California. In 1982 was held the first ever International Morey Boogie Bodyboard Pro Championships at Pipeline, in 1990 Stephanie Pettersen was crowned the world's first female bodyboarding champion.